Most helpful critical review
You need to enjoy digging through a lot of code...
on July 27, 2003
Not an easy book to learn from, all the code from the first demo program on up use the (complicated) final engine to do their rendering, and you'll have to go spelunking through it to try and figure out what's going on. The emphasis of this book is on the whole game engine itself and you're locked into his way of doing it, you're never given smaller programs that teach you how to do specific topics, it's all or nothing.
The first third of the book barely touches on terrain, you'll get overviews of things like memory management, resource pools, High Level Shader Language, render queue's, and a dozen other topics. And if you already have your own systems for these things or don't like his systems, too bad, because they are interwoven in the code throughout the rest of the book and it's difficult to seperate it out.
Like the review above, I have to agree that the terrain looks a bit aged for such a new book, and it runs slow on my P4 2.4ghz with GeForceFX card. I've seen plenty of recent games that look much better and run smooth as silk on my setup. You'll need a very high end system for his techniques to run smoothly on.
It's hard to recommend this book when you'll find much better tutorial code on the internet that's more to the point and has better looking results than you will get in this book. It does bring many techniques all together, but not in an easily learnable format when it comes to actually programming it.